AJ1301 British History, Culture and Literature I

Faculty of Education
Autumn 2021
Extent and Intensity
0/3/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught online.
Mgr. Zdeněk Janík, M.A., Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Mgr. Lucie Podroužková, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Mgr. Jiří Šalamoun, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Lucie Podroužková, Ph.D.
Department of English Language and Literature - Faculty of Education
Contact Person: Jana Popelková
Supplier department: Department of English Language and Literature - Faculty of Education
AJ1102 Practical Language 1B
Practical Language 1B
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 12 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Students are introduced to history, literature and culture of Great Britain from the period of Roman Britain to the end of the 18th Century. The goal is to introduce important authors, literary movements, historical events and cultural context of the given period and analyze their interrelation. Students will understand how literary texts reflect historical events and cultural myths. They will learn to identify cultural values and interpret them with the purpose to enhance respect to otherness. Students will discuss the role of context, gender, race, and ethnicity in history and in forming of literary genres and topics. For that reason it is necessary that students enroll into both the literary seminar group as well as the history seminal group of the course.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the course the student:
• will be able to read and interpret literary texts in English in both the literary and historical context
• will be able to grasp the interdepedence of historical development and its reflection in the arts
• will have produced a given number of short response papers throughout the semester
• will have read three literary works of the period
  • 1.Introduction to the course: organization, content, final assignments. Roman Britain
  • 2. Introduction to Old English period: “The Dream of the Rood,” “Parable of the Sparrow” and riddles. Anglo-Saxon Britain I.
  • 3. Beowulf: The Old English Epic Poem. Anglo-Saxon Britain II.
  • 4. England in the Middle Ages and Chivalry: Gawain and the Green Knight. Early Medieval Britain.
  • 5. Middle English Literature: Geoffrey Chaucer in Context. (“Prologue to Canterbury Tales” and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale.”). Late Medieval Britain.
  • 6. Elizabethan Era: Shakespearean sonnets. The Tudor England I.
  • 7. Elizabethan Era: The Many Layers of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Tudor England II.
  • 9. The Dawning of a New Genre: The Novel and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (part one). The Stuarts and the Civil War (I.)
  • 10. Robinson Crusoe (part two). The Stuarts and the Civil War (II.)
  • 11. Satire against Progress?: Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal and Gulliver’s Travels. Georgian Britain, the 18th Century.
  • 12. William Blake and the Beginnings of Romanticism.
  • 13. Summary and conclusion of the course.
  • Since the combined version of this course only has six contact lessons, half of the readings will be discussed in the Moodle course.
    required literature
  • ALEXANDER, Michael. A history of English literature. 3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. xx, 443. ISBN 9780230368316. info
  • EAGLE, Dorothy. The Oxford illustrated literary guide to Great Britain and Ireland. Edited by Hilary Carnell - Meic Stephens. 2nd ed. / edited by Dorothy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. vi, 322 p. ISBN 0-19-212988-025. info
    recommended literature
  • The Oxford illustrated history of Britain. Edited by Kenneth O. Morgan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 683 stran. ISBN 9780199544752. info
  • SANDERS, Andrew. The short Oxford history of English literature. Third edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. vii, 756. ISBN 9780199263387. info
  • STŘÍBRNÝ, Zdeněk. Dějiny anglické literatury. 1. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 1987. 414 s. info
Teaching methods
Discussion, small group work, lecture, in class writing exercises.

Students can deliver short (5 minute) presentations on current matters influenced and interconnected with any of the discussed texts for extra points.

(The literary part of the course is inspired by the theory and practice of dialogic teaching (as proposed by Robin Alexander). To that end, each class employs a different communicative activity which is used to: (i) introduce students to some possible ways of teaching literature, (ii) enable students to understand the discussed texts on a deeper level, (iii) foster the spirit of a learning community.)
Assessment methods
Literature part:
Participation in collaborative learning and discussion based activities (50%)
Test (50%)

History part:
6 on-line quizzes, active class participation (read e-books), 2 discussion forums.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.
Note related to how often the course is taught: kombinované studium: výuka v blocích.
Information on the extent and intensity of the course: kombinované studium: výuka v blocích.
Teacher's information
During the course, students read one longer text (a novel) and watch a Shakespearean play. Reading assignments for the remaining sessions are of a shorter nature.

It is also vital that students enroll both into the literary seminar group (taught by J. Šalamoun) and the history seminar group (taught by Z. Janík) at the same time as the approaches complement each other.

Day studies Moodle course:


Combined studies Moodle course:


The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019, autumn 2020.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2021, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/ped/autumn2021/AJ1301